The Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) and the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) have taken steps to enhance passenger safety as peak travel season begins, the agencies announced.
MARINA and the PPA began posting the WoW ang Byahe posters on domestic passenger ships and passenger terminals throughout the country in the first week of March in an effort to enhance maritime safety, they said.
The WoW ang Byahe poster gives ferry passengers easy-to-understand safety tips that are often ignored, yet provide valuable life-saving information during sea voyage.
As schools end and with the onset of the summer break, demand for maritime transport is expected to peak with students rushing home to their island provinces and local tourists island-hopping all over the archipelago.
As a matter of course, shipping companies engaged in the carriage of passengers are required under existing MARINA regulations to give safety advice to passengers through videos or movie clips which are played during pre-determined schedules. The WoW ang Byahe posters aim to augment the video clips through readily available information at the passenger terminals and onboard ships.
The safety tips call attention to, among others, guarding against overloading, knowing the location of life vests and emergency exits and being listed in the passenger manifest. These are concerns that in the past figured as contributory causes to maritime casualties.
One significant impact of the initiative is nurturing safety consciousness among sea travelers who often are either too absorbed with the prospect of reaching their destination or too enthralled with the seascape.
The basic safety tips are not very different form those found in air carriers, except that in the case of theWoW ang Byahe, these are given to passengers as they enter passenger terminals and lounges, and not only when they have already boarded. While awaiting embarkation, passengers already have the opportunity of being apprised of what they can do to ensure safety. This information is also accessible to the public in general, or persons who may not be passengers on that day.
At the forefront of this undertaking are the officers and members of the Women in Maritime Philippines (WIMAPHIL) chapters of MARINA, PPA, Western Visayas (WV) and Central and Eastern Visayas (CERV), who coordinated with shipping companies and port terminals in their respective areas of operation.
The simultaneous posting was made during Women’s Month, which is celebrated in March, to better highlight WIMAPHIL’s advocacy in promoting maritime safety while at the same time giving attention to the role women play in the maritime industry.